This past week I have encountered a major “shaking” as I am reminded of praying for some of my family to be “shaken” to “awaken” them… a close friend said to me when I shared about praying this way, to be careful when you pray for that you may experience it as well as often we do… as she aptly reminded me and was speaking from her own experiences which I respect.
That is just what has happened and this morning I had a choice to keep complaining of “sleeplessness” and “physical pain” that was out of the ordinary on top of mountains of other things that have been hurled my way as matters I have had to deal with. Some urgent and others just ongoing, like a battering ram, catapulting things right and left, but nothing so big it could “destroy”, even when it seemed it might!
What has the result of this brought? A realization of my own failure to keep doing things I really deep down KNOW to do but have let slip. Like… little matters that might not seem like much to some but to GOD they matter as He has reminded me before, “little things matter”! THEY certainly do! I am also reminded of the thing one of my precious mentors used to say to me that is found in the Bible, “faithful in little and the increase comes”! Tis true!
For me, it is a continued fast, and doing little things around the house inclusive of THE things God has set before me to do. I have to practice measuring my time out, like “time management” that I have actually taught on! Go figure!! YES! It seems that I must continue to “practice what I teach” what a novel idea! Seriously!! HOW often do we say it, even pray it but fail to DO IT??! I bet you can bear witness to that, including well known people who preach, teach or equip!
Glorious shaking. What of this Hurricane named “Harvey” meaning “Battle ready”? What of the multiplied rain? What does it all mean and how does it relate to what is going on now?? I sense that it is to draw our attention to love and forgiveness perhaps… as well as repenting of anger, hatred, violence and lawlessness disregarding GOD our Heavenly Father, to name a few… is it judgement? I don’t think many understand that but are all too often quick to say its “GOD’S JUDGMENT” really? He takes the enemy to task on His children’s behalf in answer to our prayers… perhaps what the enemy meant for harm GOD is trying to show us “how” to view what HE has in mind that HE intends to turn for good?
I am impressed over and over about Isaiah 58… let’s look at this:
“58 Cry aloud, spare not. Lift up your voice like a trumpet and declare to My people their transgression and to the house of Jacob their sins! 2 Yet they seek, inquire for, and require Me daily and delight [externally] to know My ways, as [if they were in reality] a nation that did righteousness and forsook not the ordinance of their God. They ask of Me righteous judgments, they delight to draw near to God [in visible ways]. 3 Why have we fasted, they say, and You do not see it? Why have we afflicted ourselves, and You take no knowledge [of it]? Behold [O Israel], on the day of your fast [when you should be grieving for your sins], you find profit in your business, and [instead of stopping all work, as the law implies you and your workmen should do] you extort from your hired servants a full amount of labor. 4 [The facts are that] you fast only for strife and debate and to smite with the fist of wickedness. Fasting as you do today will not cause your voice to be heard on high. 5 Is such a fast as yours what I have chosen, a day for a man to humble himself with sorrow in his soul? [Is true fasting merely mechanical?] Is it only to bow down his head like a bulrush and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him [to indicate a condition of heart that he does not have]? Will you call this a fast and an acceptable day to the Lord? 6 [Rather] is not this the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every [enslaving] yoke? 7 Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house—when you see the naked, that you cover him, and that you hide not yourself from [the needs of] your own flesh and blood? 8 Then shall your light break forth like the morning, and your healing (your restoration and the power of a new life) shall spring forth speedily; your righteousness (your rightness, your justice, and your right relationship with God) shall go before you [conducting you to peace and prosperity], and the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. 9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, Here I am. If you take away from your midst yokes of oppression [wherever you find them], the finger pointed in scorn [toward the oppressed or the godly], and every form of false, harsh, unjust, and wicked speaking, 10 And if you pour out that with which you sustain your own life for the hungry and satisfy the need of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in darkness, and your obscurity and gloom become like the noonday. 11 And the Lord shall guide you continually and satisfy you in drought and in dry places and make strong your bones. And you shall be like a watered garden and like a spring of water whose waters fail not. 12 And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of [buildings that have laid waste for] many generations; and you shall be called Repairer of the Breach, Restorer of Streets to Dwell In. 13 If you turn away your foot from [traveling unduly on] the Sabbath, from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a [spiritual] delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, and honor Him and it, not going your own way or seeking or finding your own pleasure or speaking with your own [idle] words, 14 Then will you delight yourself in the Lord, and I will make you to ride on the high places of the earth, and I will feed you with the heritage [promised for you] of Jacob your father; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.”
In the New Testament Jesus said this: “28 Then they asked Him, “What are we to do, so that we may habitually be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered, “This is the work of God: that you believe [adhere to, trust in, rely on, and have faith] in the One whom He has sent.”
Let’s put this together…
GOD, Heavenly Father said THIS is the fast that HE has chosen… “to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every [enslaving] yoke? 7 Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house—when you see the naked, that you cover him, and that you hide not yourself from [the needs of] your own flesh and blood?”
Jesus said in reply to the question of the people about the works of God “29 Jesus answered, “This is the work of God: that you believe [adhere to, trust in, rely on, and have faith] in the One whom He has sent.”
What then is meant by all of this? First, remember that the people are still in the same mindset of works under the law. Doing in order to BE, instead of BEING in order to do!
You cannot BE if you don’t first believe what Jesus said. To believe what HE said is to believe HIM! To doubt is to be disobedient and that means one lacks faith and without faith it IS impossible to please the Father. When you doubt, it means you don’t believe HIM or IN Him in a way that what HE says is possible! It is like when someone you trust says something to you and you say, “well, I am not sure or I don’t know” yet what they tell you is truthful and good. How do you feel when someone doubts you when you have told the truth especially if it is something to help them? It is difficult to not be affected by their “lack of trust” in you, isn’t it?
So, if Heavenly Father says the fast HE has chosen are these things:
- 1. to loose the bonds of wickedness
- 2. undo the bands of the yoke to let the oppressed go free
- 3. break every [enslaving] yoke
- 4. to divide your bread with the hungry
- 5. bring the homeless poor into your house
- 6. when you see the naked, that you cover him
- 7. that you hide not yourself from [the needs of] your own flesh and blood
Sounds a lot like what JESUS did on earth, right? Watch this…(re read last part of Isaiah 58 starting in verse 9).
Break forth like light… didn’t Jesus tell us to not “hide our light”, meaning? When He came and taught, He did show us HOW to live and not only that would even send One like Him in His place (part of the God Head…) HOLY SPIRIT to bring to our minds what JESUS said and not only that to lead us, guide us, comfort us, tell us things to come etc.
When Holy Spirit came inside us, the WORD is lit up in us! We are recreated like we are meant to be so then, we have this LIGHT Jesus talks about in the Matthew 5:14-16 “14 “You are the light of [Christ to] the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.” Wait, what did Heavenly Father say about that light?
“your light break forth like the morning, and your healing (your restoration and the power of a new life) shall spring forth speedily; your righteousness (your rightness, your justice, and your right relationship with God) shall go before you [conducting you to peace and prosperity], and the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard”
AND MUCH MORE..
What does John tell us about part of Jesus mission?
“8 The one who practices/commits sin [separating himself from God, and offending Him by acts of disobedience, indifference, or rebellion] is of the devil [and takes his inner character and moral values from him, not God]; for the devil has sinned (violated the divine law) from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared for this purpose and was made manifest (visible) was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve) the works the devil [has done].”
So, to undo and destroy the works of the devil. How did Jesus do this? Let’s look in Isaiah, a passage HE announced about Himself…in the gospels.
Before we do, let’s recap the “fast GOD has chosen”…
- 1. to loose the bonds of wickedness (for individuals and in your areas or spheres of influence)
- 2. undo the bands of the yoke to let the oppressed go free (again, individually including healing physically & soul).
- 3. break every [enslaving] yoke (like addictions people have and something rampant in a territory or region)
- 4. to divide your bread with the hungry (actual food as well as spiritual food)
- 5. bring the homeless poor into your house (yes, homeless and those who are “homeless” without a church or assembly to be a part of a congregation/group etc. to fellowship, learn, grow and have community with)
- 6. when you see the naked, that you cover him (people fall, love covers a multitude of sins and it does NOT include gossip or slander)
- 7. that you hide not yourself from [the needs of] your own flesh and blood (family/relatives)
Now, let’s see what JESUS said about Himself when He made His appearance-
“61 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor, and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound, 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [the year of His favor] and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion—to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit—that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. 4 And they shall rebuild the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former desolations and renew the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. 5 Aliens shall stand [ready] and feed your flocks, and foreigners shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers. 6 But you shall be called the priests of the Lord; people will speak of you as the ministers of our God. You shall eat the wealth of the nations, and the glory [once that of your captors] shall be yours. 7 Instead of your [former] shame you shall have a twofold recompense; instead of dishonor and reproach [your people] shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore, in their land they shall possess double [what they had forfeited]; everlasting joy shall be theirs. 8 For I the Lord love justice; I hate robbery and wrong with violence or a burnt offering. And I will faithfully give them their recompense in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant or league with them. 9 And their offspring shall be known among the nations and their descendants among the peoples. All who see them [in their prosperity] will recognize and acknowledge that they are the people whom the Lord has blessed. 10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 11 For as [surely as] the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring forth, so [surely] the Lord God will cause rightness and justice and praise to spring forth before all the nations [through the self-fulfilling power of His word].”
“18 The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon Me, because He has anointed Me [the Anointed One, the Messiah] to preach the good news (the Gospel) to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed [who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity], 19 To proclaim the accepted and acceptable year of the Lord [the day when salvation and the free favors of God profusely abound]. 20 Then He rolled up the book and gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were gazing [attentively] at Him. 21 And He began to speak to them: Today this Scripture has been fulfilled while you are present and hearing”.
This is JESUS announcing HIS mission to the world. Then what did HE preach…. Repent for the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN is at hand! Why is this important? The Kingdom of Heaven… so important HE told people to seek it first and the righteousness of GOD, instead of going after the big deals and money and striving to make this and that. He said Heavenly Father would add those things to them, for them, in other words.
We are in a place of rest if we stop striving and consider the FAST God has chosen. To fast from all the nonsense of our flesh and evil of the world… to focus upon the LORD with all our being, to throw all our affections and love upon HIM Who loves us SO very much HE gave Jesus for us. HE loves us like He loves JESUS! It’s in John 17, look it up.
So what IS our fast?
To do what? What JESUS DID…. HE said we WOULD do these things and more because HE went to be with the Father in Heaven.
I believe that statement that HE made about going to the Father is about His positioning and the reason its important is that we are seated WITH Him from the same standpoint, if we only BELIEVE who HE said/says we are… sons and daughters of the KING… those who are, rule and reign.
SO those who rule and reign are able to take power over the enemy in any given situation and release the anointing of GOD to break yokes of darkness over people, places, things and situations…. We are given weapons of warfare to DO these battles when we recognize the highest form of prayer is knowing your positioning /who you are and declaring and decreeing according to the will of Heavenly Father and sending the Hosts out to do what THEY are created for, to pull down strongholds and destroy the platform the enemy is ruling from! Our armor is about our positions in the LORD… if we are walking in Truth, believing what JESUS and HEAVENLY FATHER said and HOLY SPIRIT is saying to us, then we have our belt of truth on! And we cannot be “shaken” in this glorious shaking going on!
When we have the breastplate of righteousness on guarding our hearts, we are not allowing sin/evil /vile things into our eye or ear gates nor are we allowing negative or word curses out of our mouths that negate the Truth of what GOD has said and done! When we are wearing our shoes of Peace, we are at rest not in strife and led by the tranquility in our soul that Holy Spirit uses to lead us. When we are wearing the helmet of salvation/healing & deliverance we are saying we are NOT bound by condemnation, sickness, diseases, hardships or even age we are set free because our minds, what the helmet covers, is being transformed in our thinking, our belief system is being changed to GOD’S will and ways and our actions and words follow suit! When we have the shield of faith up…. We don’t allow things thrown our way to affect us because WE speak word of power and truth and believe what GOD/Jesus has said we could do, we believe that we have ALL power over all the enemy and NOTHING can harm us!! When we have the sword of the spirit, we knock the devil off his feet battling the way JESUS did… we step it up and decree and declaring so that the enemy suffers blows, and not us! The violent take the Kingdom of Heaven by force meaning we ardently grab hold of it, seeking and pursing GOD’S will and ways to be seen on this earth like it is in Heaven!
In the meantime, we are having a “glorious shaking” to lose from us all dependency upon our own abilities and on the dependency we have had on insurance, government, and such because HE wants a generation who believes, meaning acts upon what HE said is truth and that will demonstrate HIS Kingdom on earth. It is coming, with or without you or I, HE is doing this and if we only submit and stay clean in the motives of our hearts, we are going to see Isaiah 58 where HIS glory will be demonstrated all over this earth! And that will last a while before the enemy has anymore to say about it, somewhere in the future when Heavenly Father allows him to do that! IT is NOT the end yet, but rather, the beginning of the KINGDOM AGE in unprecedented ways! It began a few years ago, but the momentum has really picked up! Like that storm Harvey (Battle Ready)… I heard the Lord say, “the reason He allowed it to hit Texas is because that people group won’t be as devastated by it. They have tenacity and love and will do what is necessary to pick up what is needed and move forward”. I sense in my spirit that there will be a demonstration of love that will affect everyone. Yes, it is horrible devastation but one thing it has done, brought people together to show love of humanity. It is a start and anything is possible with GOD…NOW is the time for demonstrations of the power of GOD, what will happen? I wonder if someone will go and command these waters to recede? Hmm… we shall see!!!